In 1979, Leica released a gold-plated edition of their most current M model to mark the 100th birthday of Oskar Barnack: the M4-2 Gold was produced in a limited run of 1,000 models. The cameras were engraved with Oskar Barnack's signature along with the dates "1879-1979". Apart from the engravings and the camera's striking colour, the Gold edition was identical to the standard M4-2 – including its lens, the Summilux 50 mm f/1.4.
The Summilux was Leica's departure from screw mount lenses to bayonet mounts. In addition, the new lenses out-performed the former Summarit lenses in terms of contrast and detail rendition, due to their higher refraction index.
In 1993, two M4-2 Gold models were reproduced, carrying the serial numbers 1932001 and 1932002. These two reproductions aside, the M4-2 Gold was manufactured exclusively for the limited edition in 1979.